Clinical Genetics


Training Programme Director - Tara Montgomery

Specialty Programme Coordinator - Joanne O'Brien

People Services Officer - Lead Employer Trust - Allyson Ashwell / Christian Collins - 0191 275 4783/4753

Clinical Genetics is a specialty that involves the diagnosis and investigation of inherited disorders, congenital anomalies as well as the genetic background of common disorders e.g. cancer. Specialists in Clinical Genetics, therefore, require a strong background in both adult medicine and paediatrics. Good communication skills are essential to gain and deliver information to anxious families. The consultant works closely within a team comprising genetic counsellors and cytogenetic and molecular laboratory staff. An understanding of the rapidly changing molecular scientific techniques is required as well as the necessary IT skills to access the latest information about rare disorders.

The aim of clinical training with the Northern Genetics Service is to produce clinical geneticists who are competent in the diagnosis and investigation of a wide range of inherited disorders in all ages. Trainees will understand the latest cytogenetic and molecular techniques as well as the ability to interpret the results of genetic testing and research studies.  Audit and clinical governance will underpin clinical practice.

Why choose Clinical genetics?

Clinical Geneticists do not spend all day looking down a microscope. Threy investigate, diagnose, and counsel individuals who may have a genetic condition as well as their families. Clinical genetics encompasses a wide range of conditions, and it is one of the few remaining specialties that provides for both adults and children. It is also on the forefront of changes in modern medicine and keeping up to date keeps it interesting.

Genetics is expanding as a clinical specialty, and in recent years many new consultant posts have been created. Trainees who develop a research interest are likely to have the best career prospects in the future.

The NHS Northern Genetics Service is part of Newcastle upon Tyne’s Institute of Genetic Medicine (IGM) which occupies purpose-built accommodation within the International Centre for Life. The location provides an exciting clinical and research environment and state-of-the art facilities.

As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?

Specialised genetic services have developed in the United Kingdom as regional centres of expertise and, in this region these services are coordinated through the Northern Genetics Service. The Northern Genetics Service provides outpatient services to local hospitals to avoid patients having to travel long distances, but all trainees are based in Newcastle at the International Centre for Life (with an option of a rotation to the Teesside unit in Middlesbrough).

The aim of clinical training with the Northern Genetics Service is to produce clinical geneticists:

  • who are competent in the diagnosis and investigation of a wide range of inherited disorders in all age groups
  • who are experienced in the appropriate requesting and understanding of genetic testing, including diagnostic testing and pre-symptomatic genetic testing for late onset disorders;
  • who understand and apply knowledge of the ethical issues related to genetic disease;
  • who have experience in antenatal testing for genetic disorders and can counsel families about unexpected genetic findings.
  • To find out more about our region and Trusts please visit the Find Your Place website.


Information for Current Trainees

Access essential information on regulations, study leave, certification, assessment and the curriculum.

Information for trainers and educators

Development and guidance on becoming a trainer, standards for trainers, essential documentation for clinical and educational supervision including guidance for GP trainers,  Trust and out-of-hours supervisors, plus news about the latest courses and conferences.


Potential Applicant

Visit our Recruitment website to find out what it's like to be a GP trainee in the north east and north Cumbria.